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Subject: Worst part of the trip
Thanks to the enlightenment on what happened at this concert, from the best of your recollections. I can't believe the Dead would take an hour set break. The worst part of any concert is the intermission, much less tripping and having a 1 hour break. It would drive me to the point probably of leaving. I've been to DSO shows where even a 20 minute intermission nearly makes me nuts, especially if the show is inside. 5 Stars because the SBD captured Wharf Rat, regardless of the cut.
Subject: Birthday present
Just discovered this archive after reading Nick Paumgarten's article in the New Yorker (11/26/12). This was the first Dead concert I attended... on my 19th birthday. Can't believe I can hear it again! (Some of it...)
Don't recall the student protest thing, but it sounds like the fucked up NU administration to get all worked up about it. As if the Mahavishnu Orchestra or Jethro Tull concerts at McGaw were any less of a draw for local freaks and drug dealers? Anyway it was the height of the Vietnam War and it didn't take much to get us to protest. The Board of Trustees at Northwestern was dominated by the Crown family, owners of General Dynamics and major profiteers from the war, so everything they did was suspect.
McGaw was literally built like an airplane hanger, had terrible acoustics - I agree with the person who said that the Dead's sound system was the only one that could come close to handling it. From where I was sitting, about halfway back, even they didn't sound all that great. But they were already reputed to have the best sound system in rock - I think it was maybe half the later wall of sound, i.e., maybe around 300 speakers.
Regarding the corneal abrasion story, I can't say I recall it. But I do remember one thing: the Dead took a break of close to an hour, and total playing time was under 3 hours (there's around 90 minutes on this recording of what is said to be the second set.) Deadheads at the show took this as evidence that the band was unhappy about something - possibly the acoustics, or some dispute with NU management.
Be that as it may, Garcia's playing on this tape is in the realm of the unbelievable, and the whole band sounds about as tight (? - if that word even applies to the Dead :) and motivated as I've ever heard them. (I make no pretense of being an expert - I think I saw them live 3 times altogether.) I always knew I was privileged to have seen the Dead in such a key period, and now I realize that I also heard a particularly fine example of their live performance.
Subject: Glad to hear the second set....
.....since I was 16 and my "buddy", who had the attention span of an ADHD 2 year old, and who DROVE, decided that since "there were no chicks", to split at at the break. Obviously he wasn't a Head. Last concert I ever went to a concert with him and the last time (to this day) that I ever let someone else drive to a show that I was attending. Since I quit drinking in '85, not such a big deal.
Sure wish my first Dead show had been an entire one, but DAMN am I glad to at least have a SBD of the 2nd set. Now if I could only track down Set One.....interesting how one of the reviewers below was lamenting the same thing.
And I too remember the ENORMOUS wall of speakers. May not have officially been the WOS, but it sure LOOKED and sounded like one.
Postscript: I remember listening to WXRT (the COOL radio station in Chicago then - still is, as far as I know) and the DJ said that Bob Weir's eyes had been "scratched" - not sure if he meant the corneas or what - and that he had to be led out onto the stage. Anybody else hear about this or just Dead Urban Folklore?
Subject: Fall 1973 Dead Sound System
The famous "Wall of Sound" did not formally debut until spring 1974 (Cow Palace, San Francisco, March 1974) but many of the elements were already being used at the time of this concert -- McIntosh 2300 and 3500 amps, noise-canceling vocal mics, lots of JBL drivers. I attended this show and remember it sounded amazing.
Subject: Go Dead Go
A very mellow Dew leads off a wonderfully relaxed and trippy set. Too bad about the missing first set. Donna's vocals seem more prominent here than in many shows.
This was the first time I saw the Dead, and the only time with the Wall of Sound, JBL bookshelf speakers that seemed to be stacked to the roof. Also, the only concert ever in this airplane hanger of a building that had decent sound.
The University administration got pretty uptight about having this show. It was for homecoming, and they probably thought it wasn't what the starched shirt alums would like. My recollection is that it took some sort of student demonstration to avoid a late cancellation.
Subject: definitely overlooked
This second set-list is awesome. It's a shame that the first set is missing. I saw DSO play this at the Capitol Theatre on Long Island and they really kicked ass. This concert is definitely overlooked and everyone should give it a try. The sound quality is good too.
L. Rosley -
Subject: Shortie but a goodie
The reason for no reviews is probably that the first set is missing. This is the complete second set, some 94 minutes of music.
DeadBase lists the missing first set as: Promised, Sugaree, Bobby McGee, B. E. Women, B. T. Wind, China Cat> I Know You Rider, Mexicali, Brokedown, BIODTL, Loose Lucy, El Paso, TLEO, WRS Prelude> WRS Part 1> Let It Grow.
What we DO have here is top-notch Dead with some very natural transitions. Beautiful Dew into Playin' into UJB into Playin'. A Mississippi that swings into a bouncy He's Gone. (Bill lays down a jazzy groove that we just don't get on this song when Micky rejoined the group.) The "nothin's gonna bring him back" vamp near the the end has a gentle, gosple-like interaction of the vocalists, like a tribute to Pigpen, gone some 5 months at this point.
Then it grows and morphs into an upbeat Truckin' that slips into a bluesy mode that becomes Wharf Rat with nice Jerry vocal. Unfortunately, there's a 10 or 20-second gap before "fly away."
A great set for a drive from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.
Subject: bombs away
perfect morning dew into playin no reviews????????